The game of casino Blackjack is also known as Twenty-one in the English language, in the French language as 'Vingt-et-un' or 'Pontoon'. Blackjack is perhaps the most popular casino card game worldwide both in brick and mortar casinos and at online casinos. If you're a Beginner at Blackjack, find out how to play Blackjack.
Blackjack's overwhelming popularity is perhaps due to the fact that the game is as much a game of chance as it is of skill. The practice of card counting (keeping track of which cards have been played since the last shuffle) has also ensured that game received much casino as well as public exposure.
It is generally accepted that Blackjack originated in the european casinos in France during the 18th century and was then called 'vingt-et-un' which simply means '21' - the reasons being quite obvious as the player (or dealer) first to get 21 won the game. The game of 21 in the French era did not offer the 3:2 bonus for a two-card 21.
When first introduced into the United States the game was not very well known so to increase its popularity, brick and mortar casinos offered various bonus payouts in order to even get players to play the game. At present, it is now the most popular casino game with many variants or variations.
All normal, numbered card are worth their face value (2 of Spades = 2; 5 of Diamonds = 5 etc. etc.) Any Jack, Queen, or King card is worth 10; an Ace is worth 11. The exception to the value of the cards is to the Ace card only, which, if it would cause a player to 'bust' or exceed 21, it is taken as a 1. If it is taken as 11, it is called a 'soft hand'.
A Blackjack is when a player or the dealer gets a two-card hand of 21 (such as an ace in addition to a card with the value of 10). This also consitutes what players call a 'Natural' and the holder of these cards is automatically the winner. If the dealer also has a Blackjack, then the two parties call a 'Push'. In most online casinos, a 'Blackajck' or 'Natural' pays out 3:2. If there are any online casinos giving less payout than the classic 3:2 (such as a 6:5), we strongly recommend that you don't play this Blackjack as the house edge is incrteased exponentially to the player's disadvantage.
There are many Blackjack variations out there today (according to Wikipedia, these number on the 100 variations) and even much more when playing at an online casino - each blackjack variation also has its own set of rules, strategies and odds and a player is well advised to read the rules carefully prior to playing and placing any bets.
Note that a lot of countries and states actually have acts and laws which set the rules on playing Blackjack. Don't forget that in your jurisdiction, the act of even playing a casino game might be restricted or illegal so please acquaint yourself with your governing state laws prior to placing any bets or playing Blackjack or any other type of casino gambling and betting game.
To know more about Blackjack game variations, check out our Blackjack games page which lists most Blackjack games that a player can have fun at playing, both online and off-line.